Members chip-ping in for Labour party funds

SOUTH Tyneside Labour Party members united over fish and chips to offer a grand gesture to their political counterparts “across the water”.

This year is a “fallow year” politically in South Tyneside – with no local elections until May 2014.

When party activists and guests gathered for a fundraising night at Colmans Fish Restaurant in Ocean Road, South Shields, the £1,000 raised went to the party in North Tyneside.

That cash will be used to support the campaign by Coun Norma Redfearn, the Labour Party’s candidate for the job of directly-elected Mayor of North Tyneside this year.

Guest of honour at the event was South Shields-born political journalist Kevin Maguire, deputy editor of the Daily Mirror and a regular contributor on Sky News.

Coun Iain Malcolm, the leader of South Tyneside Council, hosted the event and expressed his delight that the borough party was showing a “united front”. He said: “It’s good to see members of both South Shields and Jarrow Labour Party here tonight to support each other at this type of event, demonstrating the unity within the Labour group.

“We have moved on from the parochial issues which at times blighted our decision-making in the past.”

South Shields Labour Party vice-chairman, Coun Doreen Purvis, who represents Whiteleas, said: “It was a fantastic evening with more than 80 party members and guests there.

“We do not have council elections on South Tyneside this year, so wanted to support our colleagues in North Tyneside, who are seeking to remove the Tory elected-mayor in May.

“Thanks must go to Richard Ord and his staff at Colmans, who looked after us so well, and, of course, to Kevin Maguire, who entertained us with wit and good grace.”